Bibliography of Fiction that Deals with Sexual Abuse
This is a list of novels that include examples of sexual abuse and/or the general topic of domestic violence. It was compiled at the request of the University of Maryland's Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Program (SARPP):
Call Number: Prince George's County Memorial LibrarySystem: FICTION JAC
Publication Date: 2010-06-08
"Rose Mae Lolley's mother disappeared when she was eight, leaving Rose with a heap of old novels and a taste for dangerous men. Now, as demure Mrs. Ro Grandee, she's living the very life her mother abandoned. She's all but forgotten the girl she used to be-teenaged spitfire, Alabama heartbreaker, and a crack shot with a pistol-until an airport gypsy warns Rose it's time to find her way back to that brave, tough girl . . . or else. Armed with only her wit, her pawpy's ancient .45, and her dog Fat Gretel, Rose Mae hightails it out of Texas, running from a man who will never let her go, on a mission to find the mother who did. Starring a minor character from Jackson's bestsellinggods in Alabama, BACKSEAT SAINTS will dazzle readers with its stunning portrayal of the measures a mother will take to right the wrongs she's created, and how far a daughter will travel to satisfy the demands of forgiveness."
Here is a list of novels that include examples of sexual abuse and/or the general topic of domestic violence. It was compiled at the request of the University of Maryland's Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Program (SARPP):
Call Number: UMCP McKeldin Library Juvenile: PZ7.5.C48 Be 2009
Publication Date: 2009-04-16
"Anke's father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she's just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. ... For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she's imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home-including herself."
"With this stunning novel about a woman and a marriage that begins in passion and becomes violent, the Pulitzer Prize--winning journalist and bestselling author ofOne True ThingandObject Lessonsmoves to a new dimension as a writer of superb fiction. "If literature were judged solely by its ability to elicit strong emotions," Kirkus Reviews said aboutOne True Thing, "columnist-cum-novelist Quindlen would win another Pulitzer."; And the same will be said about Black and Blue, a brilliant novel of suspense, substance, and importance. InBlack and Blue, Fran Benedetto tells a spellbinding story: how at nineteen she fell in love with Bobby Benedetto, how their passionate marriage became a nightmare, why she stayed, and what happened on the night she finally decided to run away with her ten-year-old son and start a new life under a new name. Living in fear in Florida--yet with increasing confidence, freedom, and hope--Fran unravels the complex threads of family, identity, and desire that shape a woman's life, even as she begins to create a new one. As Fran starts to heal from the pain of the past, she almost believes she has escaped it--that Bobby Benedetto will not find her and again provoke the complex combustion between them of attraction and destruction, lust and love. Black and Blueis a beautifully written, heart-stopping story in which Anna Quindlen writes with power, wisdom, and humor about the real lives of men and women, the varieties of people and love, the bonds between mother and child, the solace of family and friendship, the inexplicable feelings between people who are passionately connected in ways they don't understand. It is a remarkable work of fiction by the writer whom Alice Hoffman has called "a national treasure."
Call Number: Prince George's County Memorial Library: ADULT PB ROM KLE
Publication Date: 2008-03-25
"The New York Timesbestselling author of Sugar Daddyis back with her most breathtaking, hot-and-bothered novel yet! MEET THE BLUE-EYED DEVIL His name is Hardy Cates. He's a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He's made enemies in the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston's oil industry. He's got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind. MEET THE HEIRESS She's Haven Travis. Despite her family's money, she refuses to set out on the path they've chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or setting her soul on fire. WATCH THE SPARKS FLY. . . . Filled with Lisa Kleypas's trademark sensuality, filled with characters you love to hate and men you love to love, Blue-Eyed Devilwill hold you captive in its storytelling power as the destiny of two people unfolds with every magical word."
Call Number: Available at: Alexandria Library, Anne Arrundel Public Library, District of Columbia Public Library,
Publication Date: 2005-05-24
"When her beloved grandmother dies, a young girl's minister grandfather unwittingly sends her to live with an abusive father in this rich, wrenchingly honest southern novel infused with humor and heart. Twelve-year-old Georgia Tate wishes she could stay home forever with her no-nonsense nana, her preacher granddaddy, and her sassy friend Ginger, celebrating church revivals and the Fourth of July with icy cold watermelon and all the deep-fried fish she can eat. She wishes her deadbeat daddy had never reappeared on the scene, and that Ginger hadn't blurted out the awful truth about Mama. But most of all, when Georgia Tate loses her nana to a sudden heart attack, she desperately wishes she could find a way to tell Granddaddy why she can't possibly leave Mississippi to move in with Daddy; about the things he does that make her feel so ashamed her mind takes her off to a faraway, made-up place. With a vivid narrative voice and an extraordinary cast of characters, first-time author Gigi Amateau tells an unflinching and unforgettable tale of a sensitive girl caught in the trauma of incestuous abuse. But CLAIMING GEORGIA TATE is also a joyful story of survival — an ode to the solace of true family, the mercy of strangers, and the possibility of hope and healing."
Call Number: Prince George's County Memorial Library System: 362.8292 STE
Publication Date: 2009-03-31
"At 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: a Harvard diploma, a glamorous job atSeventeen magazine, a downtown New York City apartment. Plus a handsome, funny, street-smart boyfriend who adored her. But behind her façade of success, this golden girl hid a dark secret. She'd made a mistake shared by millions: she fell in love with the wrong person...Gripping and utterly compelling,Crazy Lovetakes you inside the violent, devastating world of abusive love. "
"A brutal struggle in the cutthroat computer industry; a shattering psychological game of cat and mouse; an accusation of sexual harassment that threatens to derail a brilliant career...this is the electrifying core of Michael Crichton's new novel, the first since Rising Sun. At the center: Tom Sanders, an up-and-coming executive with DigiCom in Seattle, a man whose corporate future is certain. Until: after a closed-door meeting with his new boss -- a woman who was his lover ten years before, a woman who has been promoted to the position he expected to have -- he is accused of sexually harassing her. Now he finds himself trapped between what he knows to be true and what he knows others will assume to be the truth. And, as he uncovers an electronic trail into the company's secrets, he begins to grasp just how cynical and manipulative an abuse of truth has actually occurred... Tackling one of the most divisive issues of our time, Disclosure compels us to see beyond our traditional responses. It is Michael Crichton at his best."
Call Number: Frostburg State University Stacks: PS3561.I483 D65 1992 -- also -- Prince George's County Memorial
Publication Date: 1993-01-01
"Suspected of killing Vera Donovan, her wealthy employer, Dolores Claiborne tells police the story of her life, harkening back to her violent husband, disintegrating marriage and the suspicious death of Joe Claiborne thirty years earlier. Dolores also tells of Vera's physical and mental decline and of her loyalty to an employer who has become emotionally demanding in recent years."
Call Number: Prince George's County Memorial Library System: TEEN FIC DES and Towson University Juvenile Fictio
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
'After her older sister runs away, sixteen-year-old Caitlin decides that she needs to make a major change in her own life and begins an abusive relationship with a boy who is mysterious, brilliant, and dangerous.'
"Once in a while, a first novel arrives like a bolt of lightning, commanding attention with an explosion of power, grace, and light. Flying in Place is such a book. As unflinching as The Lovely Bones, as startling as Beloved, it is a work to bear witness--with bravery and compassion--for the experience of millions of readers and their loved ones.
Emma is twelve, a perfectly normal girl, in a perfectly normal home. With a perfectly normal father...who comes into her bedroom every night in the hours before dawn. Emma will do anything to escape. From the visits. From the bodies. From the breathing. Even go walking on the ceiling--which is where Emma meets Ginny, the sister who died before she was born. Ginny, who knows things. Ginny, who can fly..."
Call Number: Available at Arlington Public Library and at Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore)
Publication Date: 2002-01-01
"This powerful story of guilt and redemption revolves around Sam MacCauley, Alabama-roving action reporter and primetime TV news anchor. Abducted at age nine, Sam was tortured and brutally sodomized by Ralph Sommers, a man who had already raped and killed another boy. When Ralph's wife, Deb, helps free Sam, it appears that the love of his mother and father will eventually heal his emotional wounds. Unfortunately, these wounds fester during the course of Sam's adolescence and adulthood. Neither professional success, marriage to the woman he's loved since her infancy, nor two gifted children can erase Sam's nightmares and guilt. Believing that he somehow caused his own trauma, he suffers from asthma and mood swings. After many poignant crises and some answers from his therapist, family members, and Deb, Sam finally forgives himself and moves forward, although he is unable to complete the process until a final, potentially heartbreaking calamity occurs. A story of love (not a love story) that chronicles the responsibilities and benefits of that precarious emotion, this first novel by Clark, a retired nurse, is highly recommended." Library Journal
" In the city of Egunu, Nigeria, fifteen year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a somewhat cloistered life. Their father is a wealthy businessman, they live in a beautiful home, and attend private school. But, through Kambili's eyes, we see that their home life is anything but harmonious. Her father, a fanatically religious man has impossible expectations of his children and his wife, and if things don't go his way he becomes physically abusive. Not until Kambili and Jaja are sent away from home for the very first time to visit their loving aunt, does Kambili's world begin to blossom. But when a military coup threatens to destroy the country, the tension in her family's home escalates, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together."
"After the murder of Alice Hayward and the suicide of her husband, Reverend Stephen Drew flees the pulpit and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about angels. Heather, identifying deeply with Alice's daughter, Katie, mentors the young girl but soon suspects that Alice's husband may not have killed himself ... and that Alice had secrets only her minister knew."
" Secrets of Eden is both a haunting literary thriller and a deeply evocative testament to the inner complexities that mark all of our lives."
Call Number: Prince George's County Memorial Library System:TEEN PB FIC JAC
Publication Date: 2006-08-29
'Jocelyn has two boys in her life. And a priest. Gabe has shared 14 years of growing up next door. He's a golden boy, but now, in the Spring of 1975, he's missing and the town is set to go searching for him. Benny has been in New Hampshire only since January. Yet for Jocelyn, he's someone who loves her. Torn between the two boys, Jocelyn turns to Father Warren, the priest who holds the power over her sense of self. Is he a link between Jocelyn and her boys? Or a wedge? Or a threat? 'Quietly powerful, expertly told.' - Publishers Weekly
"The reader is left to uncover the truth in this labryinth of a tale, a riveting story told within the framework of one reporter's notes and a woman's letters from prison. Everyone believes that Maureen and Harrold English, two successful New York City journalists, have a happy, stable marriage. It's the early '70s and no one discusses or even suspects domestic abuse. But after Maureen suffers another brutal beating, she flees New York with her infant daughter and seeks refuge in a small coastal town in Maine. The weeks pass slowly, and just as Maureen begins to heal physically and emotionally, Harrold finds her, bringing the story to a violent, unforgettable end."
Call Number: Montgomery County Public Library: YOUNGADULT
Publication Date: 2003-09-05
"Why had the men chosen him? Savagely violated by two strangers, sixteen-year-old Grady West retreats into silence. Some hells just can't be shared. Searing and powerful,Target shows that people can go through unspeakable things and emerge whole-- and sometimes your friends can save you. Another "provocative tale" (Booklist) by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson, author ofThe Parallel Universe of Liars."
"First published in 1985, The Cider House Rules is John Irving's sixth novel. Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch--saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud's, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch's favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted."
"Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self."
"In 1936 the Schwarts, an immigrant family desperate to escape Nazi Germany, settle in a small town in upstate New York, where the father, a former high school teacher, is demeaned by the only job he can get: gravedigger and cemetery caretaker. After local prejudice and the family's own emotional frailty result in unspeakable tragedy, the gravedigger's daughter, Rebecca, begins her astonishing pilgrimage into America, an odyssey of erotic risk and imaginative daring, ingenious self-invention, and, in the end, a bittersweet-but very "American"-triumph. "You are born here, they will not hurt you"-so the gravedigger has predicted for his daughter, which will turn out to be true. In The Gravedigger's Daughter, Oates has created a masterpiece of domestic yet mythic realism, at once emotionally engaging and intellectually provocative: an intimately observed testimony to the resilience of the individual to set beside such predecessors as The Falls, Blonde, and We Were the Mulvaneys."
"Roddy Doyle's The Woman Who Walked Into Doors will astonish readers with its heartrending story of a woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula Spencer recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable."--BOOK JACKET.
"As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival."
Call Number: Prince George's County Memorial Library System: TEEN FICTION VOI
Publication Date: 2003-02-01
"Newberry author Cynthia Voigt's searing tale of abuse -- and taking back your life. Tish has taken enough. She will no longer be abused. She will no longer be passive. So she takes a knife with her wherever she goes. Today is not going to be like any other day. Today is going to be different."